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101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving

ISBN: 978-0-7879-7402-2
416 pages
November 2004, Pfeiffer
101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving (0787974021) cover image
Employees who possess problem-solving skills are highly valued in today s competitive business environment. The question is how can employees learn to deal in innovative ways with new data, methods, people, and technologies? In this groundbreaking book, Arthur VanGundy -- a pioneer in the field of idea generation and problem solving -- has compiled 101 group activities that combine to make a unique resource for trainers, facilitators, and human resource professionals. The book is filled with idea-generation activities that simultaneously teach the underlying problem-solving and creativity techniques involved. Each of the book s 101 engaging and thought-provoking activities includes facilitator notes and advice on when and how to use the activity. Using 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving will give you the information and tools you need to:

  • Generate creative ideas to solve problems.
  • Avoid patterned and negative thinking.
  • Engage in activities that are guaranteed to spark ideas.
  • Use proven techniques for brainstorming with groups.

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Acknowledgments.

Getting Started.

Chapter 1: Creativity and Problem Solving.

Why Use Creativity Techniques?

Generating Creative Ideas.

Creativity Training in Organizations.

A Typology of Idea Generation Activities.

Chapter 2: Six Key Principles for Encouraging Creativity.

1. Separate Idea Generation from Evaluation.

2. Test Assumptions.

3. Avoid Patterned Thinking.

4. Create New Perspectives.

5. Minimize Negative Thinking.

6. Take Prudent Risks.

Chapter 3: Linking Problems, Solutions, and Activities.

Defining Problems.

Problem Solving.

Creativity and Serendipity.

A Few of My Favorite Activities.

A Guide for Selecting Activities.

How to Evaluate and Select Ideas in a Group.

Getting Ready: Different Uses Warm-Up Exercise.

Activity Selection Guide.

Individual and Group Activities.

Chapter 4: Basic Idea Generation: “No Brainers”.

1. Bend It, Shape It.

2. Brain Borrow.

3. Copy Cat.

4. Dead Head Deadline.

5. Get Crazy.

6. Idea Diary.

7. Mental Breakdown.

8. Music Mania.

9. Name Change.

10. Stereotype.

11. Switcheroo.

12. Wake-Up Call.

Chapter 5: Ticklers: Related and Unrelated Stimuli.

13. Excerpt Excitation.

14. Idea Shopping.

15. A Likely Story.

16. PICLed Brains.

17. Picture Tickler.

18. Rorschach Revisionist.

19. Say What?

20. Text Tickler.

21. Tickler Things.

Chapter 6: Combinations.

22. Bi-Wordal.

23. Circle of Opportunity.

24. Combo Chatter.

25. Ideas in a Box.

26. Ideatoons.

27. Mad Scientist.

28. Noun Action.

29. Noun Hounds.

30. Parts Is Parts.

31. Parts Purge.

32. Preppy Thoughts.

33. SAMM I Am.

34. 666.

35. Word Diamond.

Chapter 7: Free Association Activities: “Blue Skies”.

36. Brain Mapping.

37. Doodles.

38. Essence of the Problem.

39. Exaggerate That.

40. Fairy Tale Time.

41. Idea Links.

42. Imaginary Mentor.

43. Lotus Blossom.

44. Say Cheese.

45. Sense Making.

46. Skybridging.

47. Tabloid Tales.

48. We Have Met the Problem and It Is We.

49. What if . . . ?

Chapter 8: Grab Bag: Miscellaneous Activities.

Backward Activities.

50. Law Breaker.

51. Problem Reversals.

52. Turn Around.

Just Alike Only Different Activities.

53. Bionic Ideas.

54. Chain Alike.

55. I Like It Like That.

56. What Is It?

Group Only Activities.

Chapter 9: Brainstorming with Related Stimuli.

57. Be #1.

58. Blender.

59. Drawing Room.

60. Get Real!!

61. Idea Showers.

62. Modular Brainstorming.

63. Pass the Hat.

64. Phillips 66.

65. Play by Play.

66. Rice Storm.

67. Spin the Bottle.

68. Story Boards.

69. That’s the Ticket!

70. What’s the Problem?

Chapter 10: Brainstorming with Unrelated Stimuli.

71. Battle of the Sexes.

72. Best of. . . .

73. Brain Splitter.

74. Force-Fit Game.

75. Grab Bag Forced Association.

76. It’s Not My Job.

77. Rolestorming.

78. Roll Call.

79. Sculptures.

80. Super Heroes.

Chapter 11: Brainwriting with Related Stimuli.

81. As Easy As 6–3–5.

82. Brain Purge.

83. Group Not.

84. Idea Mixer.

85. Idea Pool.

86. Museum Madness.

87. Organizational Brainstorms.

88. Out-of-the-Blue Lightning Bolt Cloudbuster.

89. You’re a Card, Andy!

90. Your Slip Is Showing.

Chapter 12: Brainwriting with Unrelated Stimuli.

91. Altered States.

92. Balloon, Balloon, Balloon.

93. Bouncing Ball.

94. Brainsketching.

95. Doodlin’ Around the Block.

96. Greeting Cards.

97. The Name Game.

98. Pass the Buck.

99. Post It, Pardner!

100. Puzzle Pieces.

101. The Shirt Off Your Back.

References.

About the Author.

Pfeiffer Publications Guide.

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Arthur VanGundy is professor of communication at the University of Oklahoma and founder of AllStarMinds.com, a global "e-storming" and brainstorming retreat firm. He is the author or coauthor of numerous books including 101 Great Games & Activities and Orchestrating Collaboration at Work (both from Pfeiffer) and has been interviewed for numerous publications including BusinessWeek, Fortune Small Business, the New York Times, Science Digest, Inc., Success, and US News and World Report, and has facilitated training sessions for such organizations as Hershey Foods, S.C. Johnson, Xerox, McNeil Consumer Products, Motorola, Wyeth-Ayerst Pharmaceuticals, and the Singapore government.
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“In today’s rapidly changing world, companies cannot afford to rely on old, rigid operating systems to solve their problems. They must adopt a more flexible and innovative approach by creating new ideas. In his latest book, 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving, Dr. Van Gundy has compiled the best exercises for you and your team to come up with creative solutions to all sorts of company problems¾from personal issues to new product development. This is the ‘creativity reference’ book every company should have on their shelf.”--Doug Hall, author, CEO-Eureka! Ranch

"Many people in business spend their time imagining all the reasons why something can’t be done or why something can’t work. Dr. Arthur VanGundy’s 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving will change this way of thinking. Arthur’s inventive thinking techniques will show people creative ways on how to get things done and how to make them work. As a creativity expert, I’ve reviewed just about all the material on or about creativity in business on the market. This collection is the most comprehensive, practical, and best idea-generating resource available. You can take my word for it."--Michael Michalko, author, Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Business Creativity; Cracking Creativity: The Secrets of Creative Genius; and ThinkPac (A Brainstorming Card Set)

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by Arthur B. VanGundy
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